Inhibition of nucleolar transcription by oxaliplatin involves ATM/ATR kinase signaling

Misha Nechay, Danyang Wang, Ralph E. Kleiner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Platinum (Pt) compounds are an important class of anti-cancer therapeutics, but outstanding questions remain regarding their mechanism of action. Here, we demonstrate that oxaliplatin, a Pt drug used to treat colorectal cancer, inhibits rRNA transcription through ATM and ATR signaling, and induces DNA damage and nucleolar disruption. We show that oxaliplatin causes nucleolar accumulation of the nucleolar DNA damage response proteins (n-DDR) NBS1 and TOPBP1; however transcriptional inhibition does not depend upon NBS1 or TOPBP1, nor does oxaliplatin induce substantial amounts of nucleolar DNA damage, distinguishing the nucleolar response from previously characterized n-DDR pathways. Taken together, our work indicates that oxaliplatin induces a distinct ATM and ATR signaling pathway that functions to inhibit Pol I transcription in the absence of direct nucleolar DNA damage, demonstrating how nucleolar stress and transcriptional silencing can be linked to DNA damage signaling and highlighting an important mechanism of Pt drug cytotoxicity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)906-919.e4
JournalCell Chemical Biology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 17 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Drug Discovery
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Pharmacology


  • DNA damage response
  • nucleolus" RNA pol I
  • oxaliplatin


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